I’ve never been a person to say no to fried chicken. It’s my culinary kryptonite. I just can’t get enough of the salty, crispy coating, and biting into the tender and juicy chicken meat. My childhood diet often consisted of orders of McDonald’s chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce (which I still love), red and white striped buckets of KFC fried chicken (I prefer original recipe), and little fried drumettes from Oakland Chinatown which had the tastiest scallion batter.
Fried chicken has certainly evolved with many chefs adding their own blend of spices and coatings, sandwiching them between waffles and served at the swankiest and hippest restaurants.
After graduating from culinary school, my brother Blandon and sister-in-law Mel gave me the most incredible gift, three of Thomas Keller’s essential books; The French Laundry, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc at Home. Sifting through these cookbooks, I was excited to find one recipe that I wanted to try first; buttermilk fried chicken.
This fried chicken recipe is served on special nights at Thomas Keller’s restaurant Ad Hoc and Addendum in Yountville, CA. I have yet to try the famous recipe at his restaurants, but I was happy to know that I could make it in my it at home! Thanks, Chef Keller!
I have tried many fried chicken recipes, and this is by far the most flavorful that I keep making for my guests at home! The lemon-herb brine infuses so much flavor into each bite, and there’s an incredible blend of spices in the coating for a crispy crust. If you are uncomfortable with cutting up a whole chicken, buy pre-cut pieces from your local market. You can also use this recipe for skinless and boneless cuts of chicken like breast or thighs.
Over time I’ve tried various versions of the recipe by changing up the coating using different gluten free flours. I recommend Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour which was created by Chef Thomas Keller and Lena Kwak, don’t worry – the texture is similar to wheat flour. I have used Cup4cup in many baking applications like my gluten free salted caramel apple waffles. If you are looking for an “extra crispy” texture, I like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour, which uses a blend of garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour that gives a nice savory flavor and crunchier crust. You can substitute these flours 1:1 for the wheat flour in the recipe, or half and half, and the taste is still amazing!
Fried chicken is one of those classic feel-good recipes that everyone gets excited about no matter the age, especially my nephews Jacob and Aidan who are chicken nugget aficionados! I love to serve the buttermilk fried chicken with piping hot and flaky biscuits or crispy golden waffles and a fresh green salad. I promise, if you tell your guests you are making buttermilk fried chicken for dinner, you will have happy and hungry people eagerly ringing your door bell!